Making Girl Friends is like Dating

I thought I left the dating game 8 years ago. I thought I had my last first date, and I silently rejoiced in the false assumption that I’d never have to walk the tight rope of “be yourself, but not too much” ever again.

But then I left college and entered the real world only to realize that making girlfriends is exactly like dating. (Maybe even harder, because cleavage can’t help you make a positive first impression.)



Do I text first, or would that make me seem like a desperate Stage 5 Clinger? I mean, we consensually exchanged number, right?

Oh my God, now we have plans to hang out! What do I WEAR?! I need to look cute. I need to go to Target.

If we drink, I need to remember not to drink too much. If I swear, I need to remember not to swear too much. (My dad always tells me I remind him of a drunk sailor when I’m comfortable…)


Some girls can be harsh, and clique-y, and catty, and stupid; but some can also be soul mates, and confidants, and unbelievable supports, and friends who make you laugh so hard that you kinda sorta most definitely pee your pants.

And the latter are the girlfriends who are worth dating around for, am I right?! ;)

The thing is, I’m now taking the opposite approach for “dating” girlfriends as I did for dating Cory. When I was 18, I tried real hard to win Cory over.  At 26, if you’re with me and I haven’t showered that day, I can hang out with you in comfy clothes, I can say fuck without feeling bad, and you condone day-drinking, I consider you a girlfriend.


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50 Responses to Making Girl Friends is like Dating

  1. Amy Bartley says:

    Pick me! I look forward to our “dates”. But since we are related, does that make it a “kissing cousins” kinda thing

  2. Joni says:

    As I remember it, you didn’t need to try very hard to win Cory over. You pretty much had him at hello. Same for his family. : )

  3. Becster says:

    I like your comparison to dating! But I guess it is – don’t want to be too cool, not too eager but just right. I’m not sure how you would meet new friends these days. My two besties are girls I met at school and work. Outside of those groups, not sure where I would meet anyone really. I guess the next group will be the mother and baby group!

    Real friends are the ones who accept you no matter what! I must admit that I don’t have many friends but I consider myself lucky to have two real close ones that I can be myself with and who put up with my swearing – my husband says that when me and mum talk it’s like attending a Tourette’s meeting as we swear so much! It’s just the way we have always been!

    Sorry I ramble!

    • Colleen says:

      You’re so funny!! A Tourette’s meeting – that’s hilarious!

      Yes, I’m the same way – I have several extremely close friends who know me better than I know myself hah!

  4. Alyssa says:

    Omg I want to wear sweatpants and day drink with you so bad, and I don’t care how desperate I sound.

    • Colleen says:

      OMG we’re on the same page, so we can sound desperate together. Can’t you tell how desperate I am by the fact that I like of your IG pics like 2 seconds after you post them? I WANT TO KNOW YOU! Okay, I’m done being a creep now.

  5. So much truth….especially the internal conversations!

  6. You’re not kidding! Dating is so exhausting – I’m dating for girl friends AND still trying to DATE and find my man!

  7. Angie says:

    I feel the same way. We just moved from CA to KS, and as I’m getting over the culture and weather shock, I’m trying to make friends for my 15 month old son and myself. We go to library story time, play groups, and this week we are joining a moms group. It definitely feels like dating and I get so shy and nervous. It’s only been about a month but I’m questioning if my husband should of taken this promotion. It’s tough and I know it’ll get better it’s just frustrating when I had friends and groups in CA already.

    • Colleen says:

      Oh goodness, that’s a big move!! I have never taken for granted how lucky I am that when we moved, were moved to the same city where my two best friends live. I think joining a moms group is an awesome idea for you and your son. Good luck! :)

  8. You aren’t kidding! I totally get it. All of this is so very true. Cody and I say the same thing about couple friends. It’s like we have to “date around” before we find our favorites.

  9. Betsy says:

    I absolutely agree! I moved to Chicago last year and making girl friends is so much harder than when I first started dating my husband!

  10. Caroline says:

    Fact- the friends I spend the most time with almost never see me in anything but sweatpants or yoga pants… and I like it that way :)

    • Colleen says:

      ME TOO!! My two best friends, Jamie and Emily (who are often on the blog!), and I are always like “can we wear yoga pants?” To whatever we’re doing. The answer is always yes haha!

  11. Totally agree, I also find first dates with potential lovers is all about impressing them, dressing up, making them laugh, but with a girlfriend it’s all about them impressing you to see if you’re compatible, dressing down to make sure you’re comfortable around them, and both laughing together to solidify a bond of ya-ya sisterhood.

  12. Kristen says:

    I agree! I was recently invited to join a book club with a bunch of girls that don’t have many girlfriends (aka we are all seeking close friends). Our first book is “MWF Seeking BFF”. I just started it but it’s a story of a newlywed trying to go on 52 first dates in a year to try and find a new bff. I think it’s something we can all relate to!

  13. I feel the exact same way! Have you read MWF seeks BFF? It’s a hilarious book about a girl who goes on 52 friend dates in search of the ultimate best friend.. lots of laughs :)

  14. This makes me even more excited for our first date this week. I MIGHT shower, but now I’m glad I don’t have to. Texting you tomorrow! xoxo

  15. haha love this post. i’m definitely like a drunk sailor when i’m comfortable too..its bad but I blame it on working in the restaurant industry for so long. Going through recruitment is definitely like dating.awkward.miserable.repetitive dating.

  16. Parita says:

    The post-college friend making process is hard. I’m one of those “wear my heart on my sleeve” type of people, so I’m more opt to think everyone is my new good friend. Unfortunately, I’ve learned the hard way that it does take time and that it’s more of a process. Luckily, I have a few really good gfs that just get me. And I noticed that with them it wasn’t hard work – the friendship came naturally. Just like my relationship with Vishnu unfolded naturally (although I was a little crazy in the beginning)!

  17. Love this! Making friends as an adult is hard. I was contemplating writing a post about this, because it’s been on my mind so much lately. Along with the other people who mentioned this, I LOVED MWF Seeking BFF — I think you’d like it! Oh, and couple friends. That’s difficult on another level.

  18. This is way too true!! I am lucky to have my army friends, except thats the problem, I’m national guard and they’re active duty. So all my close girlfriends are stationed all over the country/world. I need to start “dating” for friends but it’s so much work ;)

  19. Ditto to the fucking latter!
    I’ve definitely been struggling with this since I have moved. Making new girlfriends is way harder and not something I ever put thought into until I realized I needed to make friends in a new place, as an adult. It’s not easy.

  20. Kammie says:

    I can totally relate! And getting new girlfriends is HARD, especially when you are no longer in school or when people you work with are just… meh. Not your type. (dating, again haha)

    I’ll be your girlfriend :) If you want a cyber one.
    Okay that sounded wrong too.

  21. This is perfect! I feel like I’m constantly searching for new friends and it’s so freaking hard! I think it’s harder than dating for sure.

  22. Rose says:

    Hilarious! It’s so true. I’ve had a hard time because I’ve switched jobs a lot lately and haven’t moved somewhere permanent where I can meet a new community, but I’m far from old friends now and/or we have majorly disconnected. Life phase, I know, but I spend evenings when my man is working at yoga or with on-demand on the couch lol. Not so bad but when I am settled in a job and new home/town I can’t wait to Really start friend dating with my a-game!!

  23. Brittany says:

    LOVE this so much! :) It’s so hard to make good female friends as you get older. Yay for blends :)

  24. Oh, I totally hear this. And since my only girlfriends that have kids live an hour away, making mom friends is also like dating!

  25. Thank you for writing this post!! I just moved to Leesburg VA (well really its Lucketts VA, but I say Leesburg to make it sound better, terrible I know) and my fiance thinks I’m being ridiculous that making girlfirends is this complicated. I think he might now get it that im not just making it up. It is honestly the worst feeling in the world knowing your college friends are several states away in Ohio and you are left to make friends with your fiance’s friends girlfriends who live at least a half hour away in Arlington and Vienna . God I sound lame. But seriously whatever happened to sweatpants and a bottle of wine as the norm for a girls night?

    • Colleen says:

      You do not sound lame!! I hear ya, sweatpants and wine are the norm for my girls nights. If you can’t hang with that, get out! ;)

  26. Casey says:

    Preach, yo! ; )

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  28. Allyson says:

    This is SO true. Good girlfriends are so hard to find. Loved how you vocalized it.

  29. Kelsey says:

    So simple and so true. I’m getting to that place at almost 22, and it feels good. If you don’t like when I don’t shower or my burps, then it just isn’t going to work out…

  30. Katelyn Rose says:

    It’s the worst!! Since 2010 I’ve lived two places in Ohio, Texas, and now Utah!! Always moved by myself and it is rough. PS Yesterday I sliced my finger on the foil of a wine bottle, while wearing sweats, during the day :)

  31. Sara says:

    Ah, you should read MWF Searching for BFF by Rachel Bertsche! Its about going on “dates” for new friends! Its funny and SO true!

  32. Jessi says:

    I wrote about this once too! It is so much like dating. Even a few minutes in to hanging out you know if it will work or not.

  33. As I never really dated my husband I have practically zero experience with dating. I am the same…when I feel comfortable I just babble out what I think without giving it a second thought. Especially when I drink. With my husbands or close friends that might be no problem but it certainly complicates finding new girl friends. Dating is so exhausting and I find myself sending a possible new friend a text message and then fretting about what I said right after hitting the send button! But if they don’t like me for who I am – a tad weird or not – I can’t be close friend later after all! Day-drinking in sweats with you is a mendatory quality for real friends ;-)

  34. Ashley says:

    BHAHAH!! This made my day!! It’s really a true friendship when you can sit in your comfy clothes, day drink, and then nap! :)

  35. Lindsay says:

    DUUUUDE! I want to be your friend. Hahaha :) (Look who’s the Stage 5 Clinger Creep now? ;) ) Anyway! You are so right about finding friends. I constantly have this urge to move, but I know it will be so hard to make new friends, and I definitely obsess over everything when I’m making new friends. I always wonder if they’re going to like me or I’m saying the wrong thing. Ugh. And I’m still doing the dating thing too with guys – I just want to meet someone and get married. Dating is hard!

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